A dung beetle has a brain the size of a grain of rice, and yet shows a tremendous amount of intelligence when it comes to rolling its food source -- animal excrement -- home. How? It all comes down to a dance. (Filmed at TEDxWitsUniversity.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, insects, science, TEDxWitsUniversity, 2012
What is killing the Tasmanian devil? A virulent cancer is infecting them by the thousands -- and unlike most cancers, it's contagious. Researcher Elizabeth Murchison tells us how she's fighting to save the Taz, and what she's learning about all cancers from this unusual strain. Contains disturbing images of facial cancer. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2011, TED, Talks, animals, biology, cancer, science, 2011
In 2002, investigative journalist and TED Fellow Will Potter decided to take a break from his regular beat, writing about shootings and murders for the Chicago Tribune. He went to help a local group campaigning against animal testing: "I thought it would be a safe way to do something positive," he says. Instead, he was arrested, and so began his ongoing journey into a world in which peaceful protest is branded as terrorism. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, activism, animals, environment, journalism, TED2014, 2014
Nature photographer Frans Lanting uses vibrant images to take us deep into the animal world. In this short, visual talk he calls for us to reconnect with other earthly creatures, and to shed the metaphorical skins that separate us from each other. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, animals, nature, photography, TED2014, 2014
Do our smells make us sexy? Popular science suggests yes — pheromones send chemical signals about sex and attraction from our armpits to potential mates. But, despite what you might have heard, there is no conclusive research confirming that humans have these smell molecules. In this eye-opening talk, zoologist Tristram Wyatt explains the fundamental flaws in current pheromone research, and shares his hope for a future that unlocks the fascinating, potentially life-saving knowledge tied up in... Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, animals, biology, smell, TEDxLeuvenSalon, 2013
Animal behavior isn't complicated, but it is complex. Nicolas Perony studies how individual animals -- be they Scottish Terriers, bats or meerkats -- follow simple rules that, collectively, create larger patterns of behavior. And how this complexity born of simplicity can help them adapt to new circumstances, as they arise. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, animals, complexity, TEDxZurich 2013, 2013
It’s the dream of kids all around the world to see giant beasts walk the Earth again. Could -- and should -- that dream be realized? Hendrik Poinar gives an informative talk on the next -- really -- big thing: The quest to engineer a creature that looks very much like our furry friend, the woolly mammoth. The first step, to sequence the woolly genome, is nearly complete. And it’s huge. (Filmed at TEDxDeExtinction.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, anthropology, deextinction, evolution, TEDxDeExtinction, 2013
Apes, dolphins and elephants are animals with remarkable communication skills. Could the internet be expanded to include sentient species like them? A new and developing idea from a panel of four great thinkers -- dolphin researcher Diana Reiss, musician Peter Gabriel, internet of things visionary Neil Gershenfeld and Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, Internet, animals, technology, TED2013, 2013
Can we edit the content of our memories? It’s a sci-fi-tinged question that Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu are asking in their lab at MIT. Essentially, the pair shoot a laser beam into the brain of a living mouse to activate and manipulate its memory. In this unexpectedly amusing talk they share not only how, but -- more importantly -- why they do this. (Filmed at TEDxBoston.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, memory, neuroscience, TEDxBoston 2013, 2013
The gastric brooding frog lays its eggs just like any other frog -- then swallows them whole to incubate. That is, it did until it went extinct 30 years ago. Paleontologist Michael Archer makes a case to bring back the gastric brooding frog and the thylacine, commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger. (Filmed at TEDxDeExtinction.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, deextinction, science, TEDxDeExtinction, 2013
Wolves were once native to the US' Yellowstone National Park -- until hunting wiped them out. But when, in 1995, the wolves began to come back (thanks to an aggressive management program), something interesting happened: the rest of the park began to find a new, more healthful balance. In a bold thought experiment, George Monbiot imagines a wilder world in which humans work to restore the complex, lost natural food chains that once surrounded us. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, biodiversity, deextinction, science, TEDGlobal 2013, 2013
Chimpanzees are people too, you know. Ok, not exactly. But lawyer Steven Wise has spent the last 30 years working to change these animals' status from "things" to "persons." It's not a matter of legal semantics; as he describes in this fascinating talk, recognizing that animals like chimps have extraordinary cognitive capabilities and rethinking the way we treat them — legally — is no less than a moral duty. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, animals, culture, law, TED2015, 2015
Think you know a thing or two about sex? Think again. In this fascinating talk, biologist Carin Bondar lays out the surprising science behind how animals get it on. ( 1 reviews ) Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, animals, biology, sex, TEDGlobal 2013, 2013
Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity -- caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, community, morality, science, TEDxPeachtree, 2011
At TED2012, filmmaker Karen Bass shares some of the astonishing nature footage she's shot for the BBC and National Geographic -- including brand-new, previously unseen footage of the tube-lipped nectar bat, who feeds in a rather unusual way … Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, film, nature, science, TED2012, 2012
This whimsical wrap-up of TED2006 -- presented by Einstein, the African grey parrot, and her trainer, Stephanie White -- simply tickles. Watch for the moment when Einstein has a moment with Al Gore. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2006, TED, Talks, animals, education, entertainment, performance, 2006
At TEDxRotterdam, Bart Weetjens talks about his extraordinary project: training rats to sniff out land mines. He shows clips of his "hero rats" in action, and previews his work's next phase: teaching them to turn up tuberculosis in the lab. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDxRotterdam 2010, TED, Talks, Africa, animals, technology, war, 2010
In a funny, rapid-fire 4 minutes, Alexis Ohanian of Reddit tells the real-life fable of one humpback whale's rise to Web stardom. The lesson of Mister Splashy Pants is a shoo-in classic for meme-makers and marketers in the Facebook age. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, Internet, animals, business, culture, entertainment, entrepreneur, oceans,...
Think of penguins as ocean sentinels, says Dee Boersma -- they're on the frontlines of sea change. Sharing stories of penguin life and culture, she suggests that we start listening to what penguins are telling us. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, global issues, mission blue, oceans, science, Mission Blue Voyage,...
What if human consciousness isn't the end-all and be-all of Darwinism? What if we are all just pawns in corn's clever strategy game to rule the Earth? Author Michael Pollan asks us to see the world from a plant's-eye view. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2007, TED, Talks, animals, business, cooperation, culture, evolution, food, global...
Nathan Myhrvold talks about a few of his latest fascinations -- animal photography, archeology, BBQ and generally being an eccentric genius multimillionaire. Listen for wild stories from the (somewhat raunchy) edge of the animal world. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, entertainment, exploration, fish, humor, photography, TED2007, 2007
Cartoonist Jim Toomey created the comic strip Sherman's Lagoon, a wry look at underwater life starring Sherman the talking shark. As he sketches some of his favorite sea creatures live onstage, Toomey shares his love of the ocean and the stories it can tell. Topics: TEDTalks, Mission Blue Voyage, TED, Talks, animals, arts, entertainment, humor, oceans, science,...
Ecologist Lian Pin Koh makes a persuasive case for using drones to protect the world's forests and wildlife. These lightweight autonomous flying vehicles can track animals in their natural habitat, monitor the health of rainforests, even combat crime by detecting poachers via thermal imaging. Added bonus? They're also entirely affordable. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, drones, global issues, sustainability, TEDGlobal 2013, 2013
As natural garbage collectors, vultures are vital to our ecosystem -- so why all the bad press? Why are so many in danger of extinction? Raptor biologist Munir Virani says we need to pay more attention to these unique and misunderstood creatures, to change our perception and save the vultures. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, adventure, animals, biology, birds, nature, science, TED@Nairobi, 2012
By piecing together a complex ecological puzzle, biologist Willie Smits has found a way to re-grow clearcut rainforest in Borneo, saving local orangutans -- and creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile ecosystems. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, biodiversity, biosphere, global issues, green, science, TED2009, 2009
Bees are dying in droves. Why? Leading apiarist Dennis vanEngelsdorp looks at the gentle, misunderstood creature's important place in nature and the mystery behind its alarming disappearance. Topics: TEDTalks, Taste3 2008, TED, Talks, animals, disease, food, insects, life, nature, 2008
In his home of Namibia, John Kasaona is working on an innovative way to protect endangered animal species: giving nearby villagers (including former poachers) responsibility for caring for the animals. And it's working. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, Africa, animals, biodiversity, global issues, green, science, TED2010, 2010
Biologist Robert Full studies the amazing gecko, with its supersticky feet and tenacious climbing skill. But high-speed footage reveals that the gecko's tail harbors perhaps the most surprising talents of all. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, animals, biology, biomechanics, design, materials, robots, technology,...
With vibrant video clips captured by submarines, David Gallo takes us to some of Earth's darkest, most violent, toxic and beautiful habitats, the valleys and volcanic ridges of the oceans' depths, where life is bizarre, resilient and shockingly abundant. Topics: TEDTalks, TED1998, TED, Talks, animals, geology, life, oceans, science, technology, 1998
Peter Tyack of Woods Hole talks about a hidden wonder of the sea: underwater sound. Onstage at Mission Blue, he explains the amazing ways whales use sound and song to communicate across hundreds of miles of ocean. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, mission blue, oceans, science, singer, Mission Blue Voyage, 2010
At EG'08, Adam Savage talks about his fascination with the dodo bird, and how it led him on a strange and surprising double quest. It's an entertaining adventure through the mind of a creative obsessive. Topics: TEDTalks, EG 2008, TED, Talks, animals, art, birds, creativity, entertainment, exploration, film,...
Behind those funny animal videos, sometimes, are oddly human-like problems. Laurel Braitman studies non-human animals who exhibit signs of mental health issues -- from compulsive bears to self-destructive rats to monkeys with unlikely friends. Braitman asks what we as humans can learn from watching animals cope with depression, sadness and other all-too-human problems. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, animals, health, history, mental health, psychology, science, TEDSalon...
How can robots learn to stabilize on rough terrain, walk upside down, do gymnastic maneuvers in air and run into walls without harming themselves? Robert Full takes a look at the incredible body of the cockroach to show what it can teach robotics engineers. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, animals, design, robots, science, technology, TED2014, 2014
In this stunning slideshow, celebrated nature photographer Frans Lanting presents The LIFE Project, a poetic collection of photographs that tell the story of our planet, from its eruptive beginnings to its present diversity. Soundtrack by Philip Glass. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2005, TED, Talks, animals, art, arts, design, evolution, fish, nature, photography,...
Filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer was curious about the chemicals she was exposed to while pregnant: Could they affect her unborn child? So she asked scientist Tyrone Hayes to brief her on one he studied closely: atrazine, a herbicide used on corn. (Hayes, an expert on amphibians, is a critic of atrazine, which displays a disturbing effect on frog development.) Onstage together at TEDWomen, Hayes and Chaffer tell their story. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDWomen, TED, Talks, animals, biology, children, film, plastic, science, sex, 2010
A personal story, a collective triumph: Dyan deNapoli tells the story of the world's largest volunteer animal rescue, which saved more than 40,000 penguins after an oil spill off the coast of South Africa. How does a job this big get done? Penguin by penguin by penguin ... Topics: TEDTalks, TEDxBoston 2011, TED, Talks, animals, birds, collaboration, global issues, ocean, oceans,...
Bees have been rapidly and mysteriously disappearing from rural areas, with grave implications for agriculture. But bees seem to flourish in urban environments -- and cities need their help, too. Noah Wilson-Rich, founder of Boston's Best Bees Company, argues that urban beekeeping just might play a role in revitalizing both a city and a species. (Filmed at TEDxBoston.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, cities, global issues, insects, science, TEDxBoston 2012, 2012
Animal fan Nellie McKay sings a sparkling tribute to her dear dog. She suggests we all do the same: "Just go right to the pound/ And find yourself a hound/ And make that doggie proud/ 'cause that's what it's all about." Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, entertainment, live music, music, piano, TED2008, 2008
In Western society, bats are often characterized as creepy, even evil. Zoologist Emma Teeling encourages us to rethink our attitude toward bats, whose unique and fascinating biology gives us insight into our own genetic makeup. (Filmed at TEDxDublin.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, advertising, animals, biology, evolution, genetics, science, TEDxDublin, 2012
Beverly + Dereck Joubert live in the bush, filming and photographing lions and leopards in their natural habitat. With stunning footage (some never before seen), they discuss their personal relationships with these majestic animals -- and their quest to save the big cats from human threats. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDWomen, TED, Talks, Africa, animals, environment, film, global issues, photography, 2010
Speaking at the 2007 EG conference, trainer Ian Dunbar asks us to see the world through the eyes of our beloved dogs. By knowing our pets' perspective, we can build their love and trust. It's a message that resonates well beyond the animal world. Topics: TEDTalks, EG 2007, TED, Talks, animals, brain, children, love, psychology, violence, 2007
Torsten Reil talks about how the study of biology can help make natural-looking animated people -- by building a human from the inside out, with bones, muscles and a nervous system. He spoke at TED in 2003; see his work now in GTA4. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2003, TED, Talks, animals, biomechanics, demo, design, entertainment, gaming,...
For 28 years, Denise Herzing has spent five months each summer living with a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins, following three generations of family relationships and behaviors. It's clear they are communicating with one another -- but is it language? Could humans use it too? She shares a fascinating new experiment to test this idea. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, biology, communication, language, oceans, science, TED2013, 2013
In this inspiring talk about recent developments in biomimicry, Janine Benyus provides heartening examples of ways in which nature is already influencing the products and systems we build. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, DNA, animals, biology, biomimicry, design, environment, evolution, fish,...
"Puppets always have to try to be alive," says Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, a gloriously ambitious troupe of human and wooden actors. Beginning with the tale of a hyena's subtle paw, puppeteers Kohler and Basil Jones build to the story of their latest astonishment: the wonderfully life-like Joey, the War Horse, who trots (and gallops) convincingly onto the TED stage. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2011, TED, Talks, animals, arts, design, entertainment, theater, 2011
Some 80 to 90 percent of undersea creatures make light -- and we know very little about how or why. Bioluminescence expert Edith Widder explores this glowing, sparkling, luminous world, sharing glorious images and insight into the unseen depths (and brights) of the ocean. Topics: TEDTalks, Mission Blue Voyage, TED, Talks, animals, design, exploration, fish, mission blue,...
Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures" which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, animals, brain, design, education, invention, mental health, science,...
Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows. (Notice the gleam of intelligence in their little black eyes?) After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he's come up with an elegant machine that may form a new bond between animal and human. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, animals, design, hack, intelligence, interface design, technology, TED2008,...
What do you call a veterinarian that can only take care of one species? A physician. In a fascinating talk, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz shares how a species-spanning approach to health can improve medical care of the human animal — particularly when it comes to mental health. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, animals, biology, evolution, medicine, mental health, TEDMED 2014, 2014
Plenty of robots can fly -- but none can fly like a real bird. That is, until Markus Fischer and his team at Festo built SmartBird, a large, lightweight robot, modeled on a seagull, that flies by flapping its wings. A soaring demo fresh from TEDGlobal 2011. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2011, TED, Talks, animals, biomechanics, biomimicry, design, robots,...